Saturday, June 20, 2015

Audiobook Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I downloaded this audiobook as part of a free 30 day trial on Scribd.  I think I might be hooked on the audiobooks for in my car and when I'm walking.  But, not sure I want to pay, even the low cost of $8 a month for this service. Guess I need to look into figuring out the library audiobook system to use on my iphone.  Anyway, let me just say that I LOVED this book!  I can't explain how much I enjoyed it.  It was narrated by Wil Wheaton, a fact that I loved, especially in the chapter where they talk about Wil Wheaton being vice president of the online virtual reality world, Oasis.

So, the main character is Wade, or as his avatar goes by in the Oasis, Parzival.  The year is 2044, and the world has been given the ultimate Easter Egg hunt by THE technology computer giant, James Halliday.  When he died, he left all of his money and control of the Oasis to whoever found the egg at the end of the quest.  Wade has been looking for it for five years, since Halliday's death.  The people who search for the egg, are called gunters, which is short for egg hunters.  Wade doesn't have a great life in the real world.  His parents are dead, and he lives in a trailer, stacked very high up on other trailers.  But he doesn't live alone, no, there is his aunt, and her boyfriend, and like 16 or more other people living in just one trailer home.  And there are stacks and stacks of these trailer homes.  This is how the world has come to be in the time after fossil fuels have kind of been depleted.  The Oasis is a great place, because it is free to anyone.  You just have to have the goggles to get in.  Now to get from world to world, or to have special things for your avatar, that does take money.  But that's okay.  You can earn money through quests. Which is what Wade has to do, since his checks go to his aunt, who wastes them on drugs and things.  The gunters have one big enemy, the Sixers, who are part of a large corporation.  If they win, everyone knows that they will make it so that the Oasis is no longer free, and that there is no privacy, like there is now. 

Well, one day Wade/Parzival figures out the first clue, and goes to find the first key.  He finds it, and is able to achieve what he needs to take it.  But on his way out, he runs into another gunter, a girl named Art3mis.  A girl that he's had a crush on from watching her Oasis channel and reading her blog.  She admits that she's been coming for a while, and when she finds out he beat it in one night, she's a bit irritated with him.  He gives her one tip. He takes off to reach the first gate.  He sees that soon she's also got the key, as they show up on a Scoreboard that everyone has been watching since the first announcement of the contest.  Of course soon his best friend in the Oasis, H as the audio book said it, but I didn't read so I guess it is actually "Aech" in the book, also gets the key. Then there are two Japanese boys, brothers, kind of, who get the key.  Finally, the sixers swarm in and fill up the next so many spots on the Leaderboard.  The book is all about these top five gunters search for the three keys, and gates, to find the egg and win.  Along the way they will have to deal with the sixers, who are murderous as well as cheaters.  There will be loss of friends, some romance, and as I kind of mentioned, deaths, along the way. 

I loved all the 80s references. While I was never a big video game player.  I did play PacMan and other games mentioned, I mean I grew up in the 80s, it's what you did!  And all the movies and tv shows.  Family Ties, Ladyhawke, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Monty Python's Holy Grail, School House Rock, and I could probably go on and on.  The only thing I feel was left out, was the Smurfs and Scooby Doo Saturday morning cartoons.  As I said before, I just cannot express how much I loved this book.  I know it is supposed to be made into a movie.  And I hope if they do, that they are able to leave as much of the nostalgia stuff in as possible.  And too bad Wil Wheaton is too old, I totally pictured Wade as him since he was narrating.  You basically know how it is going to end based on something said at the beginning, but it is still so exciting and nail biting as you listen and wonder how in the world it will actually turn out that way.  There is a sequel, and I have the ARC of it, but I kinda want to listen to the sequel, especially if Wil Wheaton reads it as well.

18 comments:

  1. My son is reading this book right now and is really enjoying it! He loves video games and really loves retro ones, so this book is right up his alley.

    About audio books - you should be able to use Over Drive for audio books and download them from the library :)

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    1. I know I downloaded OverDrive at one time. I really need to get it figured out for audio books on my iphone. Thanks for the tip!

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  2. I'm so curious about this one. I wasn't super grabbed by the premise but when I heard Wil Wheaton was doing the audio i automatically landed on my TBR. I use my library's system through Overdrive and love it! Hopefully you will too!

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    1. Oh yeah, it was a fun book! I need to get the Overdrive thing figured out. Having so many issues with Scribd. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I am *thisclose* to signing up for Scribd but I am trying to get through some of my other books first that I already own!

    I also listened to this on audio, and while I liked the book, and Wil Wheaton was fantastic, the audio version really highlighted the weaknesses of the book. Listening to someone read repetitive, long-winded passages is much different than being able to skim them while reading. I personally think this could have had a tighter edit to get rid of so much repetition. I don't mind long books, but a lot of this felt off balance to me; great sections of action and then long winded exposition. I couldn't fully enjoy it though I think the concept is wonderful. Here's to seeing the movie version!

    Thanks for a great review.

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    1. I definitely agreed that there were a lot of long-winded passages, and I did as I do when I read, I kind of tuned out. The only that that really bugged me about that was the part where they would list off all the people on the leaderboard. Something that I would have glanced really quickly at in a book and then moved on to reading, lasted too long when someone else was reading every last number out loud. Sorry you didn't enjoy listening to it as much. Thanks for visiting!

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  4. Oh this book sounds so cool! I've heard this book from all over the place, but this is the first time that I've actually found out what it's about. It seems like quite an inventive and imaginative book. Nice review!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. It was very creative! I love all the research the author must have done in order to get into so much detail. It was very fun. Maybe you'll pick it up sometime! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Sounds like a great thriller and a walk down memory lane at the same time. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. It was. So many on the edge of my seat moments, along with the fond memories all the 80s stuff brought back. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. I *JUST* finally figured out how to use audiobooks on my iphone and I highly recommend it!! It's perfect for in the car or whenever you can't actually read the book ♥

    Anyway, I still NEED to read this book^^ and ever since I heard it was narrated by Wil Wheaton I've been wanting to listen to it on audio. I'm so happy that you enjoyed yourself so much with this! I totally grew up in the 80's too so all the 80's references sound like a real treat! Fantastic review Lisa!! xx

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    1. I have been doing it on my iphone, but keep having issues with the connection. I'm loving it in my car, especially with my stupid cd player being broken. You totally need to listen to this one, Wil Wheaton does an awesome job narrating, and us 80s kids can totally relate to all the stuff that it talks about. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I really need to listen to an audiobook already. At least give it a shot. Ready Player One sounds like a great read. I am a product of the 80's and I love references to the things that were my childhood. I definitely will have to check this out!

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    1. I haven't been a fan, I prefer to read a book. But in the car, or walking, I have found I like listening to books, with good narrators only though. I tried listening to one that was just to hard to listen to, and that one didn't work. I highly recommend this one. Hope you give it a try!

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  8. I have only heard amazing things about this book, and because of that i want to try it! It sounds like a very different idea, with everything being in video games. But can't wait to try it! Glad audiobooks are working out for you as well ^.^

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    1. For the most part audiobooks are. Although I've hit a slump at the moment of finding one.

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  9. I am currently reading this book and loving it! Glad to see you enjoyed it as well. I may have to get the audio book version just to here the Wil Wheaton narration though :)

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    1. Loved it so much! And yes, the Wil Wheaton was definitely worth it! Thanks for stopping by!

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